Things To Do In London: Thursday 20 November 2014

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Take a free guided tour of Somerset House


ICE SKATING: Slowly but surely, London’s seasonal ice rinks are waking up for the season and quiet weekdays are the best time to visit. See what’s already open, or book ahead for the rest of the run-up to Christmas.

WOMEN DO SCIENCE: This four-day festival celebrating feminist science fiction films kicks off today, with events at Institute of Contemporary Arts, Electric Cinema in Shoreditch and Hackney Picturehouse. Events include film screenings, screenwriting workshops, and talks from film makers.  See full programme. 20-23 November

CHRISTMAS MARKET: The first ever Victoria BID (Business Improvement District) Christmas Craft Market takes place in Westminster Cathedral Piazza with hand crafted items for all budgets. Original photographs of changing London, ethically-sourced cashmere pashminas and natural wax candles are just some of the items on offer. Plus choral music and street food. 11am-3pm

SOMERSET HOUSE: Take a free guided tour of Somerset House including The Miles Stair, located in the West Wing and designed by the internationally renowned architect Eva Jiricna. Collect your free tickets from the Information Desk in the Seamen's Hall, South Building from 10am (we recommend getting there early to avoid disappointment). Free, just turn up, 1.15pm/2.45pm

GUILDHALL LIBRARY: The historical library hosts Len Taphouse who talks about his apprenticeship as an engineer with Harland & Wolff, at North Woolwich between 1956 and 1961. He tells of the characters in the docks and  associated stories about them. Free, prebook, 2pm

LONDON AIR QUALITY: Professor Frank Kelly of Kings College holds a seminar about London air quality. The UK has been breaching EU limit values every year since 2005 for pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide – and currently there is no prospect of achieving compliance for NO2 in some areas until 2025. It's estimated that air pollution contributes to at least 29,000 premature deaths in the UK each year. Free, prebook, 5.30pm

BROKEN LONDON: Meet the makers of new comic book The Fitzroy, which depicts a post-apocalyptic 1950s London where society struggles on through the poisonous smog by getting drunk (there's also a film in the works), at Platform Bar in London Fields. Free, 6pm

WORLD TALK: The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) hosts a talk about getting girls into education across the world, led by a panel of experts. Find out how we can improve access to education, work and decision-making. £10, prebook, 7pm

LONDON PHOTOS: Photographer Bob Mazzer shares his favourite images and stories in conversation with Stefan Dickers, Library and Archives Manager at Bishopsgate Institute. The focus of the event is the Magic Lantern Shows that used to be popular. £7/£5, prebook, 7.30pm

SPIRIT OF NEW CROSS: The liquor-curious come together for an informal evening of learning, tasting and experimenting in the world of liquor at The LP Bar in New Cross. Tonight sees rum take the stage in the able hands of host Mark Jennings. £27, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: Ed Aczel and sketch group This Glorious Monster headline Shambles at Tufnell Park’s Aces and Eights, plus appearances from Rob Auton, Cassie Atkinson, Dan Schreiber and more. £6, just turn up, 8pm

BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at Cab Road outside Waterloo Station, Lewisham Shopping Area, Holy Trinity Church Hall in Penge, Sir James Hawkey Hall in Wood Green, York House in Twickenham and the usual donor centres. See site for terms and conditions. Scared of donating blood? Watch our video.

Find more London events in our Free & Cheap events listings. Want to see your event in these last-minute listings? Email us at at least 48 hours before the event, and we will consider it for inclusion. Note: due to high volumes of email, we can’t always reply.

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Good Cause of the Day

Tonight at St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington, there's a charity auction raising money for Rescue4Children which provides humanitarian aid for children in Iraqi-Kurdistan. Expect Kurdish music, art and photograph exhibitions, short films and guest speakers.

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