Sid Plummer was born in Balham in 1912 and started his entertainment career as a drummer in a dance band but soon developed a solo act based around his mastery of the xylophone. Drawing on his training as an engineer he built a xylophone that could emit smoke, collapse and reassemble on command and give the impression that snakes were running over its surface. He also developed a trick with ultraviolet light that gave the impression that figures had appeared on the xylophone but the highlight of his set was The Donkey Serenade. This involved Sid singing and playing the xylophone which would transform into a donkey as the song progressed. Sid Plummer died in 1967 and his xylophone now has a home in the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.