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It is believed to have been established as early as 1776 by William Hutchinson, the Dock Master for the Liverpool Common Council.Although no exact record has been found, the boat used is believed to have been a 'Mersey Gig'.
In 1957 the last Spitfire to fly with British military markings took off from RAF Woodvale on an operational mission.
Tradition says that the Viking invaders failed to defeat the native Anglo-Saxons on the coast of Formby, so they sailed inland, up the River Alt, and attacked from the rear.
Dangus Lane, on the east side of the village, is sometimes called Danesgate Land, being connected by local traditions with this incursion.
In 2016, the newly opened Wetherspoons pub in the town was named 'The Lifeboat' in honour of the original lifeboat station.
Formby is home to RAF Woodvale, a small RAF station on the outskirts of the town.