Blimey, somebody seems to have upset Michael! For the record, I started up and ran the original first sunday session for some 5 years, most of that time being spent at Nellies. In all that time I was not paid a penny, or a pint.
Beer was offered first by the landlord of the Sun, and then The Monks Walk, as an incentive to take the session there when the previous venues had become unsatisfactory for various reasons.
In those days, the first sunday session was responsible for in excess of a thousand pounds extra being taken over the bar, so a little reward was always welcome. Regulars may recall I used to ensure that everone who gave a song/tune got a pint.....?
Keep singing, guys