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Monday, 25 June, 2001, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK
Picture gallery: Dunlop Semtex factory
A battle to save the landmark domes of the Dunlop Semtex rubber factory in south Wales appeared to have failed, as demolition machinery moved in to remove the nine unique structures, which inspired the design of the Sydney Opera House.

Protesters had argued for re-think by Blaenau Gwent council, calling for the domes to be restored as the centrepiece of a new development.

But the authority wants to use the site for a 35m housing, business and shopping development creating 200 jobs. Here is a pictorial history of the Dunlop Semtex domes.

Demolition work underway at the Dunlop Semtex factory
Campaigners sought an 11th hour reprieve for the domes

Dunlop Semtex factory in its heyday
The domes were hailed as an architectural landmark

The dome's curves in silhouette
The domes curves are said to have inspired Sydney Opera House

Dunlop Semtex domes interior
Even in semi-dereliction, the domes are an imposing spectacle

Dunlop Semtex workers, black and white picture
Dunlop Semtex employees worked in excellent conditions

Domes interior image of underside of concrete ceilings
The geometric shapes of the domes have a space age quality

Demolition machinery begins clearance work
The diggers cleared the site in advance of demolition work

The interior of the Dunlop Semtex domes in early 70s
The domes created a light, spacious working environment

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25 Jun 01 | Wales
Unique domes demolition begins
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