IN marches and parades, Glasgow's suffragettes took their campaigns to the streets and their fight for women's votes all across the country.

When the McPhun sisters, daughters of a timber merchant and councillor from the East End, went to London in 1912 to get publicity for their cause by smashing windows they ended up in prison.

Margaret and Frances ended up in Holloway and were among the first suffragettes to endure the horrific practice of force feeding after they went on hunger strike.

"For some women it was disfiguring, life-changing. They would be force fed to the degree that some of their internal organs would be damaged and some women became infertile. They were absolutely catastrophic circumstances," says Adele Patrick, co-founder of Glasgow Women's Library.

"It was an incredibly moving campaign. It was beautiful to learn of women who would hear their sisters in Holloway being force fed and be chanting, 'No surrender' in support of each other."

Ahead of the release later in October of the Sarah Gavron-directed film Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, Adele explains the huge role Glasgow women played in the movement, and how important their legacy still is today.

"Flora Drummond was called The General. Although she was quite small in stature she took it on herself to be this unbelievable icon. She would be at the front of parades and demonstrations, she was a formidable, fabulous woman. You can still recognise her type among women today in the city," says Adele.

"Scottish women were in the vanguard of those who decided they were going to take this radical course of action in prison and go on hunger strike.

"The campaign spread right across the country. You would see women coming here from London, so we had the Pankhurst family speaking at Glasgow Green and at St Andrew's in the Square.

"It was almost like contemporary political campaigning where women from Scotland would be in London and London women would come here.

"We were connecting with women as far afield as India, there were women from all over the world campaigning around these issues."

Glasgow Women's Library, in Landressy Street, Bridgeton, holds a large archive of suffragette material. Adele points out, the campaign was by no means widely publicly supported and it also included harsh, stinging postcards and images from the time that show a real antipathy towards the suffragettes.

"There are women shown with their tongues being nailed to a post; with branks on, these horrible metal contraptions that go round women's faces; almost medieval images of women. It's all about stop talking, stop asking," she says.

"We can link this to the way Mary Beard the historian had that horrible trolling recently."

The historian has gone on to become one of the most outspoken voices on trolls, condemning their behaviour as "vile playground bullying" and "generic, violent misogyny" after an appearance on BBC Question Time led to a torrent of vile sexual taunts and abuse directed at her on social media.

The Glasgow Women's Library organised event March of Women earlier this year – a walk from Bridgeton to Glasgow Green that emulated the suffragettes.

More than 100 women took part, representing forward-thinking and life-changing personalities from over the years, including political activist Mary Barbour, artist Joan Eardley and Mary McIver, who set up the Barras, all wearing sashes and carrying bold banners proclaiming suffragette statements.

"This project gave us an opportunity to do one of the projects we like to do best which involve active citizenship and promoting the idea of women becoming more confident, more active in their communities, learning more skills, meeting other people and developing their social and cultural capital," says Adele.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland approached the library with the idea of performing the play suffragette play A Pageant of Great Women by Cicely Hamilton, written more than 100 years ago, to tie in with the centenaries of suffragette history, from women getting the vote in 1918 to the death of Emily Wilding Davison after she threw herself in front of the King's horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913.

A film of the day, called March, has now been made, also looking at links between the early suffragette marching and the contemporary Glasgow event.

The distributor of Suffragette has now agreed to also offer March to cinema showing the big-budget movie.

"The women involved want to continue to march in different locations around different topics," adds Adele.

"At the last Govan Fair there was a group of women from March. And we are going to do more later in the year around a First World War theme. That was a really incredibly time for suffragettes who had to make the decision to suspend campaigning for the duration of the war."

The relevance of the suffragette movement continues today and the campaign was a model for many others through the decades that have impacted on women's lives, according to Adele.

"If women are thinking: 'Nothing can be changed' or 'This is something in the power of others', we can point to the ways that not just well to do women but working class women, women who were in a very humble situation changed the face of the whole of politics."