We meet Chris and his bike on the concourse and for a short while it looks like the Big Bad Baldy Bazza Conlon argument from a previous journey was about to re-ignite. Thankfully it died out - life is too short for this nonsense.
Chris tells us that he and his fiancee, Suzy, are going to be cycling from London to Darlo in a few weeks time - much as he did with Howard a few years ago.
This time there's a twist - they're going on a tandem. I suspect it will be a good test of their relationship. Personally my money is on Chris cycling solo from Peterborough!
We arrived slightly later into Bank Top today and by the time I'd got my pastry items for the day, John was already waiting for me in the Quaker.
As ever a very good choice was on offer: Saltaire Stein Gold, York Guzzler, Hadrian & Border Are You Listening Gordon Heal?, Moles St Elmos Fire, Wolf Remus, Hart Squirrels Hoard, High House Farm Black Moss and Broughton Old Jock and Exciseman 80/-?
John and I got stuck into the extremely quaffable Stein Gold - John taking it easy as he was still suffering from the night before when he'd been out on the town with Tony. The Remus was also very tasty.
Joining us later was Brian, Tony (not looking or feeling as bad as John), John B, Lesley and then Neil. The latter had only just made it from snow-bound Aberdeen. Their lose is clearly...errr...our gain.
As ever we then wandered up to Number Twenty-2 - in addition to the usual Village Brewer beers, the guests included Bradfield Blonde, Thwaites Original, Sharp's Special, Copper Dragon Challenger IPA and Cathedral Ales Red Imp.
Once down at the Arena, John and I wandered into the club shop to see what schmutter there was to be had.
Once inside the ground and headed to the back of block 11 which is where we were greeted by the massed ranks of the Darlo Tykes. As ever, my old neighbour Geoff had pulled together a formidable group of fans and friends from Northallerton - plus other waifs and strays - and they were sure to make some noise and bring a bit of atmosphere to our section of the stand (full of moaning old curmudgeons).
The game started with Darlington looking the more lively - we seemed assured in defence and up front we made most of the running. Mor Diop had a good chance but he put the ball just the wrong side of the post - as ever he looked like he had his legs on the wrong way round.
The game continued to be bossed by Darlington until the half-time whistle. And then Purcell struck again early in the second half to double the lead.
The ref - who had a fairly decent game which meant Colin was extremely quiet for once - awarded the Quakers a free kick just outside the Spireites box. We were a bit concerned when the ref only paced out nine steps for the wall to retreat - it didn't matter as Purcell slotted home with what looked like a deflection off the defensive wall.
Diop managed to miss another chance but Darlo continued to look good value for their lead. Staunton made a few substitutions and after the second of these, the defence failed to pay attention when Whaley took the ball forward and then shot from outside the box - the ball squirmed under Redmond.
A goal from out of the blue and there was a noticeable tensing of the atmosphere amongst the Darlo faithful - the players must have picked up on this as they then looked extremely nervous as Chesterfield upped their game.
And then a wonder shot from Talbot that looped over Redmond - unbelievable. Coasting to victory one minute, hanging on for a draw the next.
Chesterfield continued to pile forward in the final minutes and our fate was sealed when Richie Byrne tried to clear but only succeeded in putting the ball into our own net.
A cruel, cruel finish to what had been a very decent performance with lots of positives - well, for 80 minutes. We do seem to make a habit of conceding late goals.
My old Supporters Direct chum, Phil Tooley, summed the game up perfectly in his report for the Sheffield Star when he said "Darlington were the better side with more ideas and more accomplishment for virtually all of the contest but they came out of the game with nothing more than a 13-point chasm to clear to find safety with games rapidly running out. "
I left as the final whistle went and caught the bus back into town - off to drown my sorrows in the QuakerHouse as we were on a late train back to London. Martin joined me after a while - he was keen to have some of the Guzzler in an effort to console himself - he said that some of the Chesterfield staff were almost embarrassed at the way they'd snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
If only we could be that embarrassed for once...