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The week ahead


5 July The Ashes: England v Australia 1st Test. Never let it be said that this column does not cater for interests outside civil engineering.

But be warned, on the form of the one day matches, work might seem a mouth watering prospect by comparison.

Channel 4, 10.30am

6 July Lost treasures of the ancient world: Aztecs and Mayans.

Famed for their incredible architectural and engineering achievents, the Aztec legacy still survives in Mexico City. The peaceful Mayan people left some of the world's great temples including Chichen Itza - a spectacular structure, even if it does sounds like something you'd order in a Greek restaurant. It's interesting to compare the architects of yesteryear to those from more recent times. Today, architects are celebrities and structures have a built in design life. As for the ancients, we know very little about the architects, but the buildings are still here. Discuss.

Discovery Civilisation, 11am 6-31 July Housing Design Awards. The awards are presented annually in two categories - for projects and completed schemes in England and Northern Ireland. With the aim of improving all housing developments, in the public and private sectors, take a look at recent developments and what the future holds. Admission free.

RIBA, Portland Place, London.

Tel, (020) 7580 5533

7/8 July Festival of model tramways.

Weekend exhibition from the Kew Bridge Steam Museum. Marking the centenary of the first electric tram journey in London, the exhibition features over 20 working layouts, photographs, static models and trade stands. Divine.

Details, (020) 8568 4757 www. kbsm. org

9 July Frontiers of construction: Race for the sky. The challenges of building tall. The Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpar are among several examples from around the world featured in the programme.

Discovery Channel, 2pm

11 July You Only Live Twice. The fifth Bond film boasts what may be the most spectacular set of the whole series. Ken Adam was the production designer who built Blofeld's hideaway inside a huge volcano. Helluvaguy.

ITV 8pm

From 14 July Shinkansen - Bullet train. The National Railway Museum gets the Bullet - but sweat not, readers, for this an exhibit and not a closure.

Donated by the West Japan Railway for permanent display this 25m long, 210km/ph, 54,000kg monster was the Japanese bees' knees when it first ran in 1964. It's still a looker and the good news for train spotters is that because the engine is stationary there might be time to take down the number.

Details, National Railway Museum, Tel, (01904) 621261 www. nrm. org. uk New book NEC and Partnering: The guide to building winning teams. By Professor John Bennett, University of Reading and Andrew Baird, contracts consultant and member of the New Engineering Contract panel. Just launched, the guide outlines the steps project teams need to take to ensure delivery of world class performance. A must for anyone with space on their bookshelf and £50 to spend.

Details, Thomas Telford, (020) 7665 2464

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