Within a month of last year’s article (23 April 1999), police swooped on the area, just off Cricklewood Broadway, north London, and cleared it on a number of occasions. However, as these pictures reveal, the men waiting here in the hope of a day’s labour are back in force, and contractors are once again using the area as a hiring fair where they can acquire cheap labour at short notice.
A Romanian who described himself as a refugee said it was the best place in London to find work. He said he had worked on “some big sites” in the city, and received £3 an hour for his labours. But he added that in the current political climate, he feared that he and his friends were an easy target for a racist attack. “It’s dangerous but there are many of us here,” he said.