Viewers ofChannel 4’s series How Britain Worked last week will have seen steel piles froman unusual angle, as presenter Guy Martin headed to Llandudno in Wales to workon maintaining its iconic Victorian pier.

First openedin 1877, Llandudno Pier is the longest in Wales, and among the five longest inEngland and Wales.

Steel pileshave supported its structure since it opened in its current form – an earlierwooden pier was severely damaged by storms in 1859.

In lastweek’s How Britain Worked, Guy descended beneath the wooden walkway of the pierto carry out routine maintenance, adding fresh sections of steel to brace theexisting supports and prevent future seawater damage.

The workwasn’t the only example of how important steel is to this seaside community,either, as he also worked on the tramway that carries tourists up and down theLlandudno headland.

Here, steelforms an integral part of the braking mechanism, and provides the bearings forthe cables that pull the tram cars up the hill – further demonstrations of howthis robust and reliable material has kept the Llandudno tourist industry alivefor the past 135 years.